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The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg

“In the fall of 1999, New York Times education reporter Jacques Steinberg was given an unprecedented opportunity to observe the admissions process at prestigious Wesleyan University. Over the course of nearly a year, Steinberg accompanied admissions officer Ralph Figueroa on a tour to assess and recruit the most promising students in the country. Expanding on Steinberg’s original report, The Gatekeepers follows a diverse group of prospective students as they compete for places in the nation’s most elite colleges. The first book to reveal the college admission process in such behind-the-scenes detail, The Gatekeepers will be of interest to every parent of a high school-age child and to every student who is facing the arduous and anxious task of applying to college.”

Steinberg didn’t write The Gatekeepers (a New York Times Bestseller) as a guide to get into college. Rather, he reports with no filter the arduous jobs admission officers undertake and shows readers how human those “gatekeepers” are. Readers see how complex the process is for an admission decision to be made as many more factors than are obvious are considered when evaluating a candidate. Despite happening back in 1999-2000, most of the themes, processes, and factors revealed and discussed in the book are still very relevant in today’s college admissions process.

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